Happy Sunday! Let’s head straight to the weekly highlights. Continue reading
Today’s guest poster is Aaron M. Brunmeier, a PhD student focusing on early American and Atlantic world history at Loyola University Chicago. Aaron is currently finishing up his role as the new media assistant for Common-place Journal and will work next on an AHRC-funded project on Atlantic world library history.
I must confess that when it comes to digital history, I am very much a novice. My introduction into this brave new world occurred last semester in Dr. Kyle Roberts’ undergraduate digital history class that I was able to take for grad credit at Loyola University Chicago. The end goal of the course was to create our own collaborative digital history project. I teamed up with two smart, hardworking, and creative undergrads whose backgrounds weren’t even in history and what we produced was Gender in the Stacks (which I should point out is currently a prototype and definitely a work-in-progress). Continue reading
Here at The Junto, we like to hear from early Americanists at work around the world. Today’s guest post comes from Lauric Henneton, Associate Professor at the Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin and Vice Président of the Réseau pour le Développement Européen de l’Histoire de la Jeune Amérique (REDEHJA).
In case the honorable readers of The Junto were wondering, we do Early American and Atlantic history in the “Old World” and not just in good old “Blighty.” This post is about how the Réseau pour le Développement Européen de l’Histoire de la Jeune Amérique (REDEHJA) came together and what we’ve done over the last few years. This is the story of a group of friends/colleagues who decided to come together institutionally after a few years holding small-scale events in and around Paris. Continue reading
Last week, the Mississippi River surged against the levees, finally shattering restraints near St. Louis. Up and down the waterway, authorities hurried to secure hometowns, farmlands, and highways against the potential breach. “It could be anytime,” the Rivers Pointe fire chief told The St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “The hope is to keep Highway 94 open.” Even now, watching the water flow higher and faster still, it is worth thinking about how or why Americans have chosen to embrace life along the river: the shifting networks of politics and profit, the deep imprint of slavery on the region’s past, and the legacy of a South that may or may not have grown closer to the world, in the many ways that the Confederates or others have intended over time. This conscious construction of a river culture—as it was made and understood by the region’s black and white nineteenth-century predecessors, men and women who were also sensitive to sudden danger, but eager to maintain the dense traffic of the cotton trade—permeates Walter Johnson’s River of Dark Dreams and guides his expert analysis through their winding stories. Continue reading
This week, The Junto spoke with Lea VanderVelde, the Josephine R. Witte Professor of Law at the University of Iowa College of Law, a Guggenheim Fellow in Constitutional Studies, and principal investigator of the Law of the Antebellum Frontier project, which “seeks to digitally analyze the legal and economic mechanisms at work on the American frontier in the early 1800s.” She kindly took our questions on her work-in-progress, and why digital research transforms the early American legal history of how the West was run. Continue reading
Happily, summer revives that treasured list of must-reads that we shoved aside for coursework, research, grading, and gaming. Here are a few new releases in early American history that I plan to check out. What’s on your summer reading list? What can you recommend for us to review here at The Junto? Continue reading
I’ve always thought that John Adams knew the enduring value of a good museum trip, and the power of art to sharpen the mind while refreshing a work-weary soul. How else would he have known to share this insight with wife Abigail, written at just about this time in another May spring, that of 1780: “I must study Politicks and War that my sons may have liberty to study Mathematicks and Philosophy. My sons ought to study Mathematicks and Philosophy, Geography, natural History, Naval Architecture, navigation, Commerce and Agriculture, in order to give their Children a right to study Painting, Poetry, Musick, Architecture, Statuary, Tapestry and Porcelaine.” With those words in mind, here’s a quick survey of early American art currently on special exhibit throughout the country. Please share more links in the comments. Continue reading
Inspired by the work of colleagues @ the new Digital Public Library of America and others we’ve interviewed here at The Junto, here are some bookmark-worthy links to what’s going on in the ever-evolving field of the digital humanities. We’ll update this list as projects develop, so if you’re working on a digital history initiative, please let us know so we can add it to the Resources page.
If you use new media in the classroom, how effective do you find it to be in communicating historical content/class themes? Please share your views on digital pedagogy in the comments. Continue reading
Amid the whirl of data visualization, digital pedagogy, network analysis, text mining projects, and big data vs. small data debates that energized Boston’s inaugural “Days of Digital Humanities” conference last week, The Junto caught up with three early Americanists using new media to complete traditional dissertation work: Erin Bartram (University of Connecticut), Jean Bauer (University of Virginia), and Lincoln Mullen (Brandeis University). Here’s what they had to say about the process, and how digital research will shape their work after the dissertation. Continue reading
This week, we talk to University of Nebraska-Lincoln historians William Thomas and Patrick Jones, co-directors of History Harvest, a community-based approach to creating a new people’s history of America online using the real “stuff” of our past.
JUNTO: How did you get the idea (and support) for History Harvest? What are the goals of “community-based history,” and how is it a model for the profession?
THOMAS: The original idea for me goes all the way back to my work on The Valley of the Shadow Project in the mid-1990s with Ed Ayers and Anne Rubin. We ran a small community history harvest in that project, but neither the public awareness of digitization nor the technical infrastructure to do large scale digitization on site were available. Still ever since then, I have been interested in expanding the idea. And we have seen in every digital history project that the community often comes forward with materials to contribute. So in 2010 we started The History Harvest Project here at the University of Nebraska. Continue reading